Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Marshalls July 2017 Newsletter

Exodus 19:5 – “Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine.”

Just as God had delivered the nation of Israel from their slavery in Egypt, He has delivered us from our slavery to sin, if we trust in Jesus Christ for salvation.  Those who are truly saved, let me encourage you that your salvation (and gift of eternal life) comes from an eternal, loving Father, who promises to hold you firm and help you persevere to the end, which means you can NOT lose your salvation.  In the meantime, you and I have a major responsibility, which is to simply obey God and His Word, and to ‘move on’ from a past life of slavery to sin (please read Romans 6).  We have now entered into a life WITH God, as His children and not His enemies, so therefore we ought to willingly follow and obey what He says in His Word.  Remember the children’s song which says, “Obedience is, the very best way, to show that you believe…”?  Well, as a believer you will always have two options every time… will you choose to obey God or to disobey Him?  Jesus himself said in Luke 11:28 – “But He said, “More than that, blessed are those who hear the word of God and keep/obey it!”  Just like Jesus, let us all make the effort to choose to obey God first, even when it may cost us everything.

Dear Family and Friends,

Thank you everyone for your constant prayers and support for our family and ministry here in Argentina!  We thank God for the joy and encouragement we have received from you all, as it has helped strengthen us through the many changes we have experienced these past months.  Please continue to pray, not only for us and our family and ministry, but also for the spiritual work to be accomplished here in Chivilcoy, Argentina.  Thank you!  

Praise God for…
  • His Answers to Prayer:  two weeks ago, we received our ‘precaria’ document, which is a temporary residency status.  Praise God for this answered prayer, which keeps us from leaving the country every 90 days!
  • His Provision:  it is such a blessing to now own a vehicle here in Argentina.  After purchasing it about 1 month ago, we have been able to visit nearby cities, attend conferences/camps, and travel to Buenos Aires.
  • His Work:  praise God for the opportunity to lead and teach the college/career group at the church in Chivilcoy.  Both of us are also thankful for the opportunities we have had to meet several people and talk to them about Jesus Christ in the past 2 months.
Please pray for…
  • Our Ministry:  for wisdom, strength, and success in our preaching ministries (Thursday nights) and discipleship/teaching ministries (Saturday nights).
  • Our Health:  for the health and growth of our daughter Eliana (7 months old); for physical strength and protection in our daily ministries.
  • Our Future Plans:  for direction in choosing a church plant location (Chacabuco or Bragado); for team members to work alongside us in planting a church (potentially 3-5 people already committed).
In the month of June, we began to establish a more concrete schedule of life and ministry here in Argentina.  One of Dathan’s primary responsibilities in the Chivilcoy church is to preach in Spanish every Thursday evening at the prayer meeting.  We thank God for this opportunity to not only progress in the Spanish language, but to also serve and minister to others with the Word of God!  The both of us have really enjoyed leading the ‘college and career’ ministry (18-30 years old) on Saturday evenings, which has helped us connect with the people here and has given us many opportunities to teach, counsel, and encourage these young people.  Apart from these church ministries, we have made many friends and have established lots of relationships here in Chivilcoy with people we pass by on the streets, those in stores and markets, and with those we practice with in our perspective volleyball and basketball leagues.  It has been so exciting to see God speak through us with these individual people, who so desperately need salvation and to enter into a relationship with God.  Please be praying for these people and their spiritual lives, that God would give us His words to speak as we meet with them throughout each week.

One big answer to prayer from the past two months is that after having received and organized all of our translated documents and paperwork, we made a trip to Immigrations in Buenos Aires, where we praise God that we left the office with our ‘precaria’ documents (for all three of us), which is a temporary residency status here in Argentina.  Although it has been a slow, detailed process (which could easily take much longer), we are grateful to God to have completed this step in our pursuit of permanent residency in Argentina!  We also are thankful for the time we spent with fellow GMSA missionaries in the city of GualeguaychĂș, for a time of edification, growth in friendships, and prayer.  It is always necessary for believers to develop unity and a sincere bond with one another, so that Christ would be made known and that His name would be glorified through each one of us!  For us, we count it a privilege to not only serve under the King of kings, but to also serve with other believers.  We are not alone in serving God, nor were we ever meant to work alone.

The month of July flew by, as it was filled with lots of exciting events and opportunities.  We enjoyed the opportunity to serve here with two other young ladies, Katie and Rebecca, who had come for a two-month missions trip to help serve in the local church here in Chivilcoy.  They were such a blessing to the people and such a help in various ministries, and we thank God for sending them to minister to the people here.  Also, during the month of July we were able to celebrate two Independence days:  July 4th (United States) and July 9th (Argentina).  It has been great to take part in each country’s traditional celebrations and to learn more about the history and background of the perspective countries.  Lastly, we wanted to give you all an update on our 7-month old daughter, Eliana:  she is growing up so fast, she is very close to crawling, she loves playing with her toys with mommy and daddy, she is eating baby food now, she always loves being outside, she is full of energy, and has a contagious, bright smile!  We love her so much, and we thank God for her health improvements and physical growth.

As always, we thank God for each one of you for your prayers and support!  As a team who serves the same and only living God, we look forward to the next couple of months to see what else God will do through each part of this ministry, which includes your prayers and support.  May God bless you and your families, and may He be the King of your life!

In Christ,
Dathan, Allison, and Eliana Marshall

The volleyball team at Club Independiente that Allison practices with.

GMSA missionaries in Argentina meeting

College and career group from Chivilcoy church

Dinner with family from church... empanadas.

Family visit to city of Bragado

Visit to Buenos Aires with Tom and Debbie (middle), and Katie and Rebecca (on right)

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Marshalls May 2017 Newsletter

Psalm 121:1-2 – “I will lift up my eyes to the hills- from whence comes my help?  
My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.”

The purpose for writing this devotional is two-fold:  to proclaim truth about God, and to encourage you with that truth.  One of the attributes of God is that He is our ‘Helper’.  In the book of Psalms, David often referred to God as his ‘Helper’, using the Hebrew word that described a military help or a ‘call for aid in time of need’, something that David experienced on many occasions in his life.  The simple truth here is that God is my Helper, my Aid, my Strength!  And as if that truth doesn’t quite sink in deep enough, Psalm 121:2 adds that He is the One ‘who made heaven and earth.’  God, the Creator, is your Help, and He will be there to strengthen you and help you in whatever situation you are in!  Now, many of you who are reading this may not feel like you need help right now, and I’m sure there are some who are truly desperate for help, but in either case, the simple knowledge of God being our Help will transform our perspectives, create a dependence on Him, and strengthen us through those difficult situations in life.  Just read the stories of these Bible examples:  Joshua (Joshua 8:1-35), Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego (Daniel 3:1-18), Gideon (Judges 7:1-25), etc.  You are in the hands of God, you are subject to His promises (that never fail), you are loved and cared for by God, you belong to Him, and you must depend on Him!  Listen, there is no one more reliable than God!  So, as you encounter life’s difficulties and desperately need help and assistance, look not to the right or to the left, look not to your own self, but look up to the mountains to see the Creator, because He promises to be your Helper!

Dear Family and Friends,

Thank you for your faithful prayers and support!  It has now been slightly over one month that we have been living in Argentina, and you all have been a huge part in helping us get to this point.  We praise God for each of you, not only for the unity we have and enjoy as believers, but also for the blessing you have been to us throughout our missionary journey, primarily through your prayers, encouragement, and financial support!  As you read this newsletter, we hope that you are spiritually encouraged and motivated to follow after Jesus Christ with your life, wherever God has you and whatever situation you might find yourself in.

Praise God for…

     • His Strength:  we praise God for giving us the strength to make this big transition to life in Argentina.  Although it has often times been difficult and uncomfortable, God continues to give us encouragement and strength when we need it the most.

     • His Answered Prayers:  we praise God for the improved health in our daughter Eliana, for the smooth and safe arrival into Argentina, and for the ministry opportunities we are already involved in.

Please pray for…

     • Our Paperwork:  we would appreciate your prayers for the next and final step of our paperwork process, in order to obtain our ‘DNI’ cards, or permanent residency.  We will be taking all of our documents to Immigrations soon, so please pray that this appointment will go smoothly and we would receive the approval of all documents.

     • Our Ministries:  please continue praying for our ministry opportunities here, primarily that people would respond in their hearts to the Gospel message of Jesus Christ.  For our sports ministries (basketball, volleyball, etc), preaching at church, Bible studies, and physical work in the camp and church properties.

The month of April was one of the quickest months of our lives.  From our last-minute church visits, packing and organizing our belongings, and spending every possible ‘free time’ with family and friends, the word ‘time’ simply vanished away.  During the first three weeks of April, we did however have the opportunity to visit Faith Baptist Church of Sellersville, PA, where we had the opportunity to share about our ministry to Argentina and become better acquainted with the church family.  We very much appreciated the love and support that we received from such a beautiful church family!  It was also a blessing for us to spend our last two Sundays (in the USA) at our home church, High Point Baptist Chapel.  Many people do not realize the impact they had on our lives, especially as we neared our departure date for Argentina.  We would like to say a special ‘thank you’ to our home church family, for their hospitality and care for us, for their prayers and support, for the many wonderful friendships we enjoy with them, and for their Godly testimony and example in our lives.  Honestly, we love and miss you all, and look forward to the next time we get to see you.

After three rigorous weeks of organizing, packing, and cleaning, our departure date quickly arrived.  On April 24th, we flew out of JFK airport to Buenos Aires, where we arrived safely the following morning.  It was a long, emotional, exhausting trip, but we praise God for giving us the strength through it all.  Our little family of three, along with our 25 totes and suitcases, successfully made it through airport customs and were warmly welcomed into Argentina by one of our co-workers, Tom Gibbons.  After a two-and-a-half-hour drive from the airport, we finally arrived at the Gibbons’ home, where we are currently residing (in a small apartment connected to their house), in the city of Chivilcoy.  It has been quite the adjustment living here, especially concerning the daily lifestyle and language differences.  Yet, although these have been good challenges for us, we have truly enjoyed integrating ourselves into the Argentine culture, into the church family here, and into the constant use of Spanish.  We praise God for the training we have received prior to our arrival, for Tom and Debbie Gibbons (our mentors and co-missionaries here in Chivilcoy), and for all of your prayers on our behalf.

In the month of May, we have primarily spent most of our time adjusting to the new cultural lifestyle, preparing Spanish messages to preach (Dathan's job), working on our documents for our permanent residency, and slowly getting more involved with various activities here in the community and church.  Allison has been attending a semi-weekly women’s Bible study at church, which has been a huge encouragement to her, both spiritually and in growing in the language.  Apart from spending most of her time as a Mommy to Eliana (well, I guess that’s all the time haha), she also loves to go on daily walks to the local food markets and to the plazas (parks) to strike up conversation with people, she enjoys her daily tutor hour to learn more Spanish, and she is always expanding her Argentine cooking recipes!  Dathan has had the opportunity to preach in Spanish on several occasions already at church, and has had the privilege of practicing basketball with one of the city’s semi-professional teams, in hopes to continue building relationships with people here in the city.  He also enjoys going on walks or bike rides, spending time conversing with some of the young men at church, and trying to perfect the art of grilling an ‘asado’ (Argentine barbecue).  The both of us truly have enjoyed getting to know the Argentine people and culture better, yet our hearts often times still miss ‘home’ in Pennsylvania.  But through all of these changes and challenges, we trust in the One who deserves our complete dependence, because He has a great plan for us, one that He will help us accomplish!

At the end of the month of May, our local church and camp here in Chivilcoy held a ‘Retiro de Hombres’ (Men’s Retreat), which was the first ever event held on the camp property.  It was not only exciting to have around 88 men in attendance, but it was also an incredible testimony to God’s faithfulness over years of building the camp.  The retreat included Bible teaching, great fellowship, soccer games, and some delicious meals.  We praise God for such a special weekend to spend with brothers in Christ, and for the opportunity to meet many more co-workers in Argentina!  Well, for those of you who are wondering about Eliana, she is doing very well.  Her doctor here has been awesome, her health has been improving greatly, her giggles have been contagious, her toes and hands have been chewed on (by herself), and she absolutely loves being outside and going on walks!  Thank you to all of you who have been praying for her.

We hope that you have gained a better understanding of what God has been doing in and through our lives here in Argentina.  It has been such a blessing to finally live in the country that God has put on our hearts to reach with the Gospel of Jesus Christ!  Your prayers and support are very much appreciated, as we seek to continue building relationships, seek a new church plant location, and seek to proclaim God’s Word to the people.  May God bless each of you in your own lives and ministries, as you depend on Him for His help and His strength!

In Christ,
Dathan, Allison, and Eliana Marshall

'La Favorita de la Familia', aka the 'Family Favorite' (Eliana June Marshall)

Men's Retreat grilled food (sausage and chicken)

Men's Retreat Soccer Team

Delicious asado dinner with the Buhr family from church

Happy Mother's Day to Allison!

Chivilcoy Camp cabin and grill

Sergio (Missionary to Uruguay), James (camp director), Juan Claudio (Pastor in Buenos Aires), and me.

Photo taken of the streets of Chivilcoy

First attempt at grilling steaks in Argentina

Total group of 88 men at Men's Retreat

Incredible asado dinner, thanks to the Carbonari family from church

Baptism of Malco Carbonari this past Sunday (6/4)

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Marshalls March 2017 Newsletter

Revelation 3:15-16
“I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot.  I could wish you were cold or hot.  So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of my mouth.”

What is ‘lukewarm’ Christianity?  One simple definition for the term ‘lukewarm’ is someone who is neither hot or cold about their faith.  This term is used in Revelation 3:15-16 to describe those who call themselves ‘Christians’, yet though they give themselves that title, they are just drifting along in life, perhaps not investing much time with God at all (indifference), or attending church only when it is convenient, or maybe they have even lost a zeal or desire for spiritual growth.  Many people who call themselves ‘Christians’ claim to have faith in Jesus Christ, yet they do not (or only if convenient) study God’s Word, do not grow in their faith, do not live different than the world, do not passionately pursue doing what is right, etc.  The truth is that being ‘lukewarm’ is the most comfortable, most convenient, and the safest form of living in our own minds, which is why it takes a deeper faith to trust and follow Jesus Christ to a passionate and purpose-driven life for Him.  Have you reached a point of complacency and spiritual apathy in your life?  Are you struggling to follow and live for Jesus, which is vastly different than the world around us?  Here are 3 simple practices to help boost your Christian faith and ‘turn on the hot water’ in your life:  1. Daily pray, and study the Word of God (return and restore your relationship with God) 2. Directly impact someone’s life around you (put your heart and soul into others; you might learn something, too!) 3. Declare the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the world around you (a true Christian desires to tell others about Jesus, no matter the cost and refusing to ‘blend in’ with the world).  Following these 3 simple steps will help you ‘get off the fence’ in your Christianity, and will reignite a passion for righteous living, not sinfulness, and definitely not anywhere in between!

Dear Family and Friends,

Thank you so much for your faithful ministry to us through your prayers and financial support!  We thank God for partnering us together for the purpose of telling others about the life-changing Gospel message of Jesus Christ!  Can you believe that we are less than 1 month away from moving to Argentina?  As you can imagine, this is and will be a very difficult, yet exciting transition process.  We would appreciate your prayers for our family for the following requests:

Please pray for…

1.     Our Paperwork Process:  as soon as we arrive to Argentina, we will have 90 days (maximum on our passport) to get several important documents translated and approved by Argentina government officials.  Please pray for a smooth process so that our family would be able to obtain permanent residency status in the future.

2.     Our Family Adjustments:  leaving the USA and our family and friends will no doubt be an emotional struggle for us, but it will be just as difficult to adjust to living in a new language and culture.  Please keep all our family in prayer as we all acclimate ourselves to a new lifestyle, both physically and emotionally.

3.     Our Health and Safety:  upon leaving for Argentina on April 24th, we will be flying (over 12 hours flight time) and driving (3 hours) to our destination in the city of Chivilcoy.  Please pray for travel safety, for good health, and for patience and wisdom in caring for Eliana.

Praise God for…

1.     His Ongoing Provision:  although we have already reached the 100% support mark, God continues to provide through the generosity of other people and churches.  We thank God for meeting both our current monetary needs and some of our future needs as well!

2.     His Church Body:  it is an incredible blessing to have received SO much love, encouragement, and support from God’s people!  We not only thank all of you who fit that category, but we praise God for His promised care to us through your lives.

3.     His Word:  you know, in the midst of the chaotic changes that have happened in our family the past few months, one thing has been constant to guide us through all of it…God’s Word!  We praise God for giving us the Bible, which is unchanging and sufficient for all of life’s situations.

During the month of February (which for some reason is Allison’s favorite month!!), we received confirmation that Eliana has a bad case of acid reflux, which not only meant she needed extra supervision and treatments, but it also has demanded much of our attention and focus.  Although it hasn’t been the smoothest of situations, we are thankful that she has shown much improvement and is doing a lot better now.  In the middle of still trying to figure out this whole ‘parenting’ thing, God has continued to open doors for us.  Remember the whole story about Eliana’s birth and how we missed sharing about Argentina with the High Point 2nd grade class?  Well, after another cancellation due to snow, we finally were able to meet the class and enjoyed discussing about Argentina and our missionary work with them.  It was such a blessing to see these young kids eager to listen to what God is doing around the world, and of course, the food and cultural practices were a highlight, too.  We praise God that by the end of the month, we had successfully received government approval of all our major legal documents, which will allow us to be fully prepared for the next process once we arrive in Argentina!

The month of March was quite a busy month, as we enjoyed taking part in a week-long missions conference at Calvary Monument Bible Church in Paradise, PA.  We loved being involved in the conference, not only as one of nine featured missionary families, but also in learning from excellent teaching and engaging in sweet fellowship all week long.  The church’s lead pastor, Pastor Bryan Sanders, has made a large impact on Dathan’s life as a former youth pastor at High Point, so it was great to reconnect with him and his family, and to see God’s work through the various ministries of their church!  A week later, we were invited to report a ministry update at one of our supporting local churches (Twin Valley Bible Chapel).  Located about 10 miles from where we live, this church has been our ‘extended’ family ever since we began our deputation ministry, and they have poured out their love and encouragement to us each time we see them.

Just this past weekend, we wrapped up the month of March in style with our Commissioning Service at High Point Baptist Chapel.  Although this service was a very emotional one for our families, it was a special opportunity to not only thank our home and sending church for their love, prayers, and support, but to also declare all that God has done throughout our 2 ½ year deputation ministry and to look ahead to what He will do in our lives in Argentina!  We were also delighted and wonderfully surprised this past weekend, as Dathan’s brother (Jordan) popped in from Iowa to celebrate this occasion with us.  After such a special weekend, we have returned to our long, arduous schedule of packing, organizing, parenting, packing, organizing, and some packed (un)organized parenting! 

It is incredible and surreal to think that we will be living in Argentina within one month from now, yet despite the nervousness and sadness we have in making this big transition, we are completely confident that this is God’s will and purpose for our lives and that He will enable and empower us through it all!  So, to all of you who are reading this right now, you can look forward to receiving our first ever ‘international’ newsletter next time we write in May.  Until then, may we all aim to live each day with a Godly purpose and to pray for one another.  God bless!

In Christ,

Dathan, Allison, and Eliana Marshall

CMBC Missions Conference with Awana kids

First Missions Conference for Eliana!

Family Photo with Allison's family (Dilworths)

Eliana 2-month old pictures

Surprise visit from Jordan (Dathan's brother) for Commissioning Service

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Marshalls January 2017 Newsletter

Marshalls January 2017 Newsletter

Psalm 1

“Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
    Nor stands in the path of sinners, nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and in His law he meditates day and night.
He shall be like a tree, planted by the rivers of water,
    That brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper.
The ungodly are not so, but are like the chaff which the wind drives away.
Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous.
For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the ungodly shall perish.”

In order for us to dwell with God, we must be compatible with His nature.  Through an entire life of righteous living, Jesus Christ maintained a close companionship with God, His Father.  God was Jesus’ dwelling place, a home where He remained and spent much time.  We know from the Bible that there is a ‘home’ (heaven) available for those who confess their sins to God and believe in His Son, Jesus (2 Corinthians 5:1).  And although we eagerly await this eternal resting place with God, the Bible tells us that we “are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells” in us (1 Corinthians 3:16).  While you and I are still living on this earth, and have not yet reached our final destination in heaven, God has made His home in your heart and in mine.  So, the challenge for us is this… since His home is in our hearts, do we spend time getting to know Him and to talk with Him?  Also, are we living in such a way that we are compatible with God and His righteous character?  Someone once wisely stated, “Righteousness is a status achieved through divine intervention and human obedience.”  Let us all be living definitions of righteousness and dwell with God each day!

Dear Family and Friends,

Happy New Year to you and your families!  It is amazing to look back and see all that God has done this past year, not only in our own personal lives and ministry, but also in changing lives around the world for His own glory.  We cannot thank you enough for your crucial part in assisting us through your prayers and support!  Each one of you is a blessing to us, and we thank God for working through you to help meet our needs.

In early December, we were both asked to sing as part of a group in a Christmas drama at our home church in PA.  It was an exciting and powerful drama, which featured the birth of Jesus Christ from the different viewpoints of various characters in Bethlehem.  Most of the month of December was spent being close to home and attending our home church, which allowed for much-needed family time and re-connecting with our friends from church.  We praise God for His work that was accomplished in 2016, which makes us very thankful to be His servants and gives us much excitement and anticipation for this new year.

On January 5th, we were invited to come and share about our missionary adventure with the 2nd grade class at High Point Baptist Academy.  We were so excited that we both ended up waking early at 5am, packed all of our ‘essential’ items, drove really fast on the roads, and as soon as we had parked, we ran in!  Let’s just say that the room was not what we had expected to see that morning, but it had to suffice.  Well, finally, after staring at the clock and waiting a long time, our excitement and anticipation could not wait any longer.  At 3:36pm, our baby daughter Eliana June Marshall was joyfully welcomed into the world!  Our precious baby girl was 7lbs 3.5oz and 21 inches long.  Eliana is such a joy and blessing to our hearts, and we praise God for her good health and safe delivery.  And yes, she was born at a hospital (Phoenixville, PA) and no, we did not go to school and share with the 2nd grade class that day.

As you can imagine, we have been playing ‘Mommy’ and ‘Daddy’ ever since, adjusting to parenthood and the responsibilities of caring for Eliana.  During our transition to parenthood, we have also continued completing several steps in our paperwork process, one of them being getting a passport for Eliana.  For her passport application appointment, one thing that we didn’t realize was that Eliana had to have her eyes open for the passport photo, which turned out to be a much more difficult process than we had thought.  We had done everything we could to get her to be calm and sleep, but then quickly tried everything to wake her back up…which took lots of effort and patience.  As you can probably tell, our lives and ministry have been greatly affected by our beautiful baby daughter.  ‘Eliana’, which has a Hebrew definition of ‘my God has answered’, truly is an answer to prayer.  When we hold her in our arms, we see an astonishing miracle that God created and breathed life into.  We thank you for your prayers for Allison during her pregnancy, and for Eliana and her health.
We have listed several praises to God from these past couple of months, as well as new prayer requests for the upcoming months.  Your prayers would be greatly appreciated!

Praises and Prayer Requests:

Praise God for…
  • His Provision:  we praise God that He has provided ALL of our monthly support!  Yes, you read that correctly…100% supported!  Jehovah Jireh deserves our praise and He deserves all the glory for what He has provided!
  • His Blessings:  we praise God for the birth of our daughter, Eliana June Marshall, on January 5, 2017.  She is a beautiful miracle and a precious gift from God to us.
  • His People:  we praise God for all of our friends and family.  It has been really special for us these past two months to spend more time with our immediate family members, especially considering our upcoming departure for Argentina (in April).

Please pray for…
  • Our Paperwork:  please pray specifically for our family’s paperwork (customs and residency papers) to be approved, for a smooth transition to international health insurance, and for wisdom as we buy plane tickets and begin the packing process.
  • Our Family:  please continue praying for our family’s health and safety as we make these final preparations and adjustments to moving to Argentina.  Also, please pray for Allison’s dad and his health, as he is recovering from a recent heart catheterization. 
  • Our Ministry:  please pray for our church presentations and ministry opportunities in these next couple of months.  Our passion is to keep ministering to people and finish our deputation ministry strong for God’s glory.

Thank you again for your committed prayers and support!  Although we wish to thank each one of you personally, we are so grateful for the love and care that many of you have given us along our deputation journey!  We hope that this newsletter would both inspire you and encourage you in your own adventure of a faith-led, righteous life.  May God bless you and your family in this 2017 year!
In Christ,
Dathan and Allison Marshall

Singing Group for 2016 Christmas Drama

Eliana June Marshall (born January 5, 2017)

Our new family photo!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Marshalls November 2016 Newsletter

Job 1:1 – There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was blameless and upright, and one who feared God and shunned evil.”

There is a quote which says, “Men love everything but righteousness and fear everything but God."  In the Bible verse above, Job was quickly described as a man who feared God, which resulted in developing his good character.  In general, there are two specific results to fearing God in our lives:  loving that which is good and righteous, AND hating that which is sinful and evil.  Today, we are living in the dispensation of grace, in which we are not under control of the Law of Moses, but are now under the administration of the grace of God.  This period of time (dispensation) began for all of mankind thanks to God’s grace towards us in sending His one and only Son to shed His blood on a cross as the atonement (payment) for our sins, referring to our inability to keep and follow the Law of Moses.  Therefore, we are now under the administration of God’s grace, which literally means ‘God’s unmerited favor to mankind’.  This grace is a gift from God and is sufficient for salvation (available to all people), even though we all have disobeyed God’s law and have fallen short of His holy standards.

But here is the dilemma…because grace is freely given by God, often times we do not fear God the way that we should.  There is something powerful about fear that will cause us to consider our actions, our thoughts, and our words.  For example, you might be struggling with a specific sinful addiction, such as greed, lust, evil speech, gluttony, anger, etc., and you may be tempted to think that you are ‘getting away’ with your sin and that God will always forgive you each time by His grace.  While the latter part of that statement is true (God’s grace towards us when we confess and repent), our sin does not happen without being seen by God or going without due punishment.  Now, imagine that you have a camera watching you every second of every day…would that change what you do?  Isn’t that why stores and parking lots have cameras…to prevent wrong actions by giving accountability?  God IS watching, and God clearly has anger towards sin and evildoing (Romans 1:18).  Job, an upright and blameless man, feared God…and the result…he shunned evil.  Today, are you fearing the living God?  Matthew 10:28 says, “And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.”  We must fear God to guard our thoughts, our heart’s desires, our words, and our actions, so that we might not sin, but instead bring honor and glory to a holy and righteous God.

Praises and Prayer Requests:
Praise God for…
  • His Provision:  our current support level is now at 90%!  Praise God for providing most of our support through many individuals (and their families) and churches.  Also, praise God that ALL of our ‘outfit and passage’ needs have now been met!

  • His People:  we have had excellent hosts during our travels, have had our travel needs met, and have been blessed by the love and prayers of so many brothers and sisters in Christ!  We praise God for you all.

Please pray for…
  • Our Family:  in the middle of October, we lost our grandfather (Fred Dilworth), yet heaven gained an amazing, godly man.  Please continue to pray for our family during this healing time.  Please also pray for the health of Allison and our baby girl, who is due on January 14th.

  • Our Support:  we are now only $400 (10%) short of our ultimate monthly support goal.  Please pray with us as we seek to raise this final figure before leaving in the Spring of 2017.

  • Our Preparations:  we are currently in the middle of the USA-side of the paperwork process.  Please pray for a smooth approval of paperwork and foreign documentation.

Dear Family and Friends,

Thank you so much for your prayers and support!  Your ministry to us is an incredible blessing and an answer to our prayers.  Although we cannot personally thank each one of you enough for your part in our ministry, we know that God is pleased and satisfied with you and your service for Him.  As you read our summary of the past two months, we hope that you are encouraged by the work of our great God in and through our lives, and that you are also motivated in your own personal journey with Him.

These past two months have been quite the hike!  In early October, we had the chance to visit Dan River Church in Danville, VA, which is one of several church plants of Thomas Road Baptist Church.  It was exciting to celebrate their 7th year anniversary as a church, and to hear about God’s past, present, and future work in and through the church family.  After returning home for a week, we traveled up to Nazareth, PA, to preach and give an update at Belfast Bible Church.  If there is one word to describe this church family, it would be…steadfast.  And no, their slogan is not “Here at Belfast, we are steadfast”; although, it would be true.

In the middle of October, Allison’s grandpa (Fred Dilworth) passed away, and has now been united with God in heaven, with no more pain, and with complete joy.  As one of the greatest role models in our lives, through his love for God and love for people, Grandpa Dilworth is undoubtedly missed by all of his friends and family.  Although there is (and has been) much sorrow in losing our beloved Grandpa, we have joy and peace knowing that we will be re-united with him in heaven someday.  Do YOU know where you will spend eternity?  The Bible says in John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”  If you are unsure about your eternal destiny, please don’t hesitate to ask us for more understanding from God’s Word.

After another week of being home, we decided to take a trip out to Minnesota and Iowa, where we spent a few days with Jordan and Stephanie Marshall (Dathan’s brother and sister-in-law).  We praise God for these special times with family, and for the opportunity he provided for us to enjoy a weekend with them.  At the end of our trip, we were also privileged to meet up with the Curtis and Katie Paulson and their parents (Loren and Diane Paulson).  It was a true joy for us to reconnect with these great friends, as God has used them to make a big impact in our lives.  The following week we were invited to present our missionary ministry at Colonial Baptist Church in Springfield, OH, which is the home church of Dathan’s Aunt Cathy and Uncle Steve.  It was really special for us to meet the church family, to enjoy godly fellowship, and to soak up family time with several of our relatives.

The month of November was only slightly less busy, as we began by returning to Salem Bible Church in Ohio for a 2-day Bible Conference.  After the conference, we traveled a few hours south to Athens Bible Church to preach and present our ministry.  We thank God for the believers at each of these churches for being such a blessing to us by their love and encouragement.  The rest of our November Sunday visits were to Faith Baptist Church in Sellersville and Friedens Bible Chapel in Birdsboro.  We thank each of these churches for their love to us, their testimony for Jesus Christ, and their faithful prayers and support.

Well, as you can imagine, Allison’s little baby bump has grown.  As she approaches the 34th week of her pregnancy, we are getting very anxious and excited to meet our baby girl.  Hopefully, our next newsletter will reveal the precious girl that we’ve been waiting for, with her name and some baby pics.  It is our desire to say ‘thank you’ to all of you for praying on our behalf as we have ventured these long distances and have ministered to many people and churches.  We give God the glory for His provision, we thank Him for our friends and family, and we praise Him for the work He is accomplishing!  May God bless each of you.

In Christ,
Dathan and Allison Marshall

Iowa Trip to see Jordan and Stephanie

Allison's Grandpa Fred Dilworth (carving carousel horses)

Ohio Missions Sunday with Uncle Steve and Aunt Cathy

Family Fellowship with Marshalls, Dilworths, and Gibbons

Leaves Changing Colors in the Fall Season (our missionary house)

Friday, September 30, 2016

Marshalls Newsletter September 2016

Deuteronomy 6:17-18 – “You shall diligently keep the commandments of the Lord your God, His testimonies, and His statutes which He has commanded you.  And you shall do what is right and good in the sight of the Lord, that it may be well with you, and that you may go in and possess the good land of which the Lord swore to your fathers.”

As one reads the book of Deuteronomy, there is a major truth and principle that is highlighted throughout the book:   obedience brings blessing (disobedience brings cursing).  The nation of Israel seemed to struggle greatly with this principle, which is clearly exposed for us to read about today.  When God spoke to them through prophets and through His commandments, instead of following Him and obeying His voice, often times they would rebel and disobey the clear commands.  Can you imagine yourself as a soldier in battle, who hears a set of commands from the commanding officer, yet you choose to disobey and do the exact opposite of the original command?  First, think about how that might affect the officer…  Second, think about how that might affect your fellow soldiers…  And third, think about how that might affect you.  The officer (representing God) is disrespected and his commands, although being completely trustworthy, are rejected.  Your fellow soldiers (representing believers) are challenged to either follow you or God, and fear/doubt begins to rule in their hearts.  And finally, you are now engaged in a war (by yourself) against an enemy far stronger than you are.  Do you see the truth here?  If you and I are going to succeed in our lives, we must obey the voice of God.  It is only because of Him that we find victory and blessings in our lives.  Let Him be your Commander, your King, your Authority, your Master!  And when we read His words and His commandments, let us put aside our pride and selfishness and simply obey our God!  Just as Deuteronomy 6:18 promises a blessing and reward for obedience, we also have a blessing to look forward to if we obey Him.  

Dear Family and Friends,

We want to thank each one of you for your faithful prayers and support!  God has been using you to meet and supply our needs, and to give us love and encouragement during our deputation ministry.  During the past two months, God gave us the opportunity to visit several different churches to preach or present our ministry with them. 

In the beginning of August, our home church (High Point Baptist Chapel) invited us to come and preach God’s Word in an evening service and to share an update about our deputation ministry.  We praise God for the joy and excitement that comes from our fellowship with our home church family, who not only help strengthen us in our journey, but also motivate us by their faithful testimonies for Jesus Christ.  One week later, we took part in a Missions Sunday at Calvary Chapel of Chester Springs.  This was a unique, busy day where we presented our ministry, spoke during kids’ club, and met the church family during and in-between all three morning church services.  We spent the next few weeks preaching at Faith Baptist Church (Phoenixville), visiting Calvary Baptist Church (Corning, NY), and preaching at Twin Valley Bible Chapel.  It was a true blessing to visit with these three churches, who are faithfully proclaiming the Gospel in their communities and growing together in Christ.  Sometimes we do not realize how special it is to have a unique bond with believers of all cultures through the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!  It truly shows the incredible power of God.

In September, God opened the door for us to visit several new churches and present our missionary ministry with them.  One of those churches, Plantation Baptist Church (Florida), invited us to take part in their missions month.  It was a great blessing to meet the church family, to enjoy good fellowship with one another, and to spend time with some families of our Mission (Gospel Mission of South America in Fort Lauderdale).  After the trip to Florida, we quickly packed our car and traveled to Erie, PA, where we were included in a 4-day missions conference at Garden Heights Baptist Church.  This church graciously hosted us all weekend, which gave us a great opportunity to meet many people and to encourage one another.  Please keep this church in your prayers as they seek a full-time head pastor. 

Soon after we had returned from Erie, PA, we again packed our car and headed southwest to Lynchburg, VA, to present our ministry with the people of Thomas Road Baptist Church.  After speaking to over 100 kids in the Awana program on Wednesday night, we were invited by the Missions Pastor (Russ Dean) to speak in the Senior Life group at TRBC.  Each of these groups, from young to old, were a blessing and joy to be with, and we are so grateful for the opportunity we had to meet them.

We want to thank each church mentioned above for their hospitality, their love and prayers, their generous love offerings and gifts, and for their testimony of Jesus Christ!  You have been a huge blessing to us.  Please read (below) our list of updated praises and prayer requests:

Praise God for...
  • His provision:  We praise God for the 86% support that we have received so far!  In just over 2 years, God has almost provided all of our needed monthly support. 

  • His strength:  We praise God for allowing us good health and protection in all of our travels.  These past two months have been very busy, but God has given us His strength to accomplish much work. 

  • His people:  We praise God for every single church that we have visited and for the love and encouragement we have received from His people.

Please pray for… 
  • Our health:  Please continue to pray for our health, especially for Allison’s health and the baby’s health.  Our baby girl is due on January 14th

  • Our support:  Please continue to pray on our behalf for our support level (14% more).  We know that God provides through His own people, so we ask that you might pray for more financial partners and prayer partners. 

  • Our preparations:  Please pray for our preparations before we reach the field of Argentina, such as paperwork, church planting location, departure date (tentatively March/April 2017), etc.

Thank you all so much for your prayers and support!  We are so grateful for your part in helping us serve God with our lives.  As you read this newsletter, our desire is that you might find encouragement in seeing our God work around the world and that you might proclaim Him to others, too!  May God bless each one of you as you faithfully serve Him.  Thank you!

In Christ,
Dathan and Allison Marshall

Mission Sunday at Calvary Chapel of Chester Springs

Pastor Tom Hunter and Dathan at Plantation Baptist Church

Allison and Baby Girl at Presque State Park in Erie, PA (at Garden Heights Baptist Church)

Our presentation table at Thomas Road Baptist Church